Tri-C’s renovated Fire Academy
By Marchanna Bentley, Western campus Associate Editor
“I saw when it was nothing. Transitioning it from what it was to what it’s going to be has been a process.”
Commander Ted Huffman, a veteran of the Cleveland Heights fire department of twenty-three years, heads the restoration project at Cuyahoga Community College’s Fire Academy that has spanned ten years.
[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]“This program is good for people who enjoy hard work and giving back to the public. People who aren’t sure what direction they want to head in life but believe their purpose is helping others.” [/pullquote]The Fire Academy has been around for over forty years, first opening up in 1971. The first incarnation operated from the inside of an old barn house. A single room operated as the main classroom, and a maintenance truck pumped water from the campus fountain to use during training.
28 acres were purchased to help accommodate space for the new facility and its training grounds.
The physically demanding career of a fire fighter is explored in several of the Academy classes. Students will learn the ways of ice and water rescue. There’s also the critical element of learning to do a search and return in a fire.
Huffman encourages students from the non-traditional to the fresh out of high school to apply who aren’t afraid of rigorous work and find fulfillment in helping others.
“This program is good for people who enjoy hard work and giving back to the public. People who aren’t sure what direction they want to head in life but believe their purpose is helping others.”
Graphs showing need for firefighters are promising. Between 2006 and 2016, a projected growth is shown to increase by 9.3 percentages.
The Fire Training Academy’s 260-hour training course is worth 13 college credits to apply towards Tri-C’s Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Fire Technology. The academy is currently accepting applications for the summer 2014 program. For more information about the Fire Academy, please contact Mary Paulus at 216-987-5076.